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Maine parents low on baby formula are encouraged to call WIC clinics for help

Baby formula is offered for sale at a big-box store on Jan. 13 in Chicago. Baby formula has been in short supply in many stores around the U.S. for several months.
Scott Olson
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Getty Images
Baby formula is offered for sale at a big-box store on Jan. 13 in Chicago. Baby formula has been in short supply in many stores around the U.S. for several months.

A national shortage is forcing many parents to search multiple stores for infant formula. The director of Maine's Women, Infants, and Children program, Ginger Roberts-Scott, said her agency is sending formula to WIC's 15 clinics across the state to help meet the needs of families in the program.

"Call the clinic. They'll tell you what to do, either come get it from them, they'll give you a couple of cans to get you by until your local store gets some, or they know the stores that have some," she said.

More than 2,300 babies in Maine's WIC program rely on infant formula. Scott said a plan to reopen a manufacturing plant in Michigan that produces infant formula should provide relief in a few weeks.

Scott said parents who aren't currently enrolled in WIC can also call for guidance — and to see if they're eligible for the program. She said roughly 17,000 Maine families are in WIC, which is only about half the number that are eligible.